Are long showers bad for septic tanks?
Septic tanks are a fantastic way to dispose of wastewater if you’re looking for an environment-friendly system, or if you’re based in a rural location far away the mains sewer. Septic tanks can be an efficient way to break down waste using a natural method, but it’s important to know the limitations a system can have.
At OMDI, we have two decades’ experience designing solutions to suit our customer’s needs. One of the most common questions we’re asked is about showers. So we asked our expert team whether long ones are bad for septic tanks.
How Do Septic Tanks Work?
Septic tanks are usually located outside a home or building, and wastewater is pumped into them directly from the property. Using naturally-occurring biological processes, liquids and solids are separated out inside the septic tank and bacteria then gets to work breaking down waste into biodegradable products. Some sludge is always left over, and needs to be emptied periodically to avoid build-ups. Meanwhile, the liquids are flushed into the ground nearby or watercourses.
When they are designed, installed and serviced properly, septic tanks are able to deal with large amounts of wastewater from homes and should be more than capable of dealing with long showers. However it depends on how long that shower is actually lasts.
Are Long Showers Bad for Septic Tanks?
The important thing to remember is that a septic tank is limited in size. While it can deal with the quantity of wastewater it’s designed for, overloading the system could cause problems.
If you are a family of four and you each have half-hour showers every day, then a septic tank can cope with processing that much wastewater. However if every family member starts to take longer ones, and water usage is high in other areas of the household too – for example, from doing laundry or turning on a dishwasher – then you may discover your septic tank struggles.
As septic tanks diffuse liquid into the ground slowly over time, an obvious problem that can arise is a blockage or leakage. That will happen if the quantity of water pumped into the system is higher than the amount that can be pumped out after being treated. This can quickly be exacerbated if you don’t service a septic tank at least once a year and have sludge and any other waste build-up emptied by a professional. That depends on several factors though, including how long you and everybody else you live with spend in the shower! Keep showers to a reasonable length; install a water limiter or keep access to hot water limited and, most importantly, keep your septic tank serviced.
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We’ve been designing and installing septic tanks for more than 20 years, so we can recommend the most appropriate solution when it comes to your drainage problems.
To find out more about installing a septic tank on your property or septic tank maintenance, contact OMDI today and have a chat with our experts. We’ll be happy to provide a free, no-obligation quote for your septic tank project.